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AHMM’s King’s Cross office and theatre scheme wins approval


Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has won planning approval for a 33,000m² office-led scheme in King’s Cross, featuring a 600-seat theatre

The reserved matters planning application to Camden Council for the project on the corner of Handyside Street and Wollstonecraft Street, known as P2, was given the green light by Camden councillors yesterday evening (Thursday). 

Drawn up for landowner King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) – which is headed by developer Argent – the building will sit on the north of Heatherwick Studio’s new shopping destination, Coal Drops Yard, which opens in October.

As well as the theatre, its bar and front and back of house facilities, the 12-storey block will house 1,700m² of shops below nine floors of office space and a fifth-floor wraparound terrace.

The ground floor on the south side will be dedicated to retail space, further expanding the Coal Drops Yard complex, which will feature an eclectic mix of big name brands and independent boutiques.

A letter of support from the project was sent by the Theatres Trust, which said the plans would improve the area. ‘It will create a flexible space capable of hosting productions unsuitable for many of London’s commercial theatres on this scale,’ it wrote.

A planning officer’s report praised AHMM’s design for its ‘high architectural value’. 

Work is expected to start in November this year and complete in 2021.

Project data

Location King’s Cross. On the corner of Handyside Street and Wollstonecraft Street, adjacent to Lewis Cubitt Square (to the east) and London’s new shopping destination Coal Drops Yard and Gasholders London to the south
Type of project Mixed-use building containing 600-seat theatre, 18,000m² of office and 1,700m² of shops
Client King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership
Architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Landscape architect Dan Pearson Studio (building terraces), Townshend (external public realm)
Planning consultant Argent (King’s Cross)
Structural engineer AKT II
M&E consultant Cundall
Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald
Planning supervisor Principal designer under CDM is AHMM
Lighting consultant Speirs + Major
Start on site Anticipated November 2018
Completion 2021
Gross internal floor area 33,000m²

1704 king's cross ahmm v04 rev ei

1704 king’s cross ahmm v04 rev ei

View looking towards Heatherwick Studio’s Coal Drops Yard



Readers' comments (2)

  • A shame that the theatre is so completely submerged in some 'more of the same' of the office architecture being rolled out in the area.
    And most of the new residential blocks are similarly unmemorable - perhaps the reason why Argent and the planners got away with inviting Heatherwick to butcher the Coal Drops yard by way of light relief.

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  • Phil Parker

    I’m going to say what I expect many others are thinking: The massing of this proposal is quite horrible. It’s a box symmetrically placed on a larger box. I agree with the above comment: the theatre component, which should be celebrated, is lost behind bland office facades.

    It’s a great shame there no longer exists the RFAC or similar bodies that might persuade Argent the design is not just a tick box for letting agents......

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